“No!” I shouted. There I was, a kid again, in a dark secluded room that had no doors, no means of escaping. Tears streamed silently down my cheeks. A hand roughly ripped my shirt from my frail body. “Stop it.” I cried, “Stop it.” My voice became weak and I couldn’t seem to fight them away. Soon, my pants were laying lazily at my ankles and I was pinned against the cold hard ground. A face appeared slowly, his eyes devilish and scary. I cried harder, shutting my eyes tight thinking maybe if I did that, he’d go away.
“Cheyenne.” I felt someone nudging me and pushing me gently. I was trying my hardest to wake up from the nightmare but I couldn’t. “Cheyenne. Babe, wake up.” The voice seemed distant but I knew it was Larry. “CHEYENNE!” He shouted, then I shot up from the bed, cold sweat, heart racing, eyes wet with actual tears, my chest heaving up and down as I hyperventilated. “Chey, what’s wrong?” He wiped the sweat from my forehead and kissed my cheek, “You were screaming and kicking me all in your sleep.” He stared at me worried and awaiting my answer.
“No— Nothing.” I stuttered, “I need to go.” I stood up and walked to the bathroom, I stared in the mirror. That dude in the alley was doing more damage to me that I’d imagined. I wasn’t just having flashbacks about him, but now I’m having these nightmares about my mom’s ex-boyfriend. I wasn’t a kid when it all started, I was more so along in my pre-teens and he was her drug man. The guy that kept her supplied with what she wanted. I was only collateral for him. It wasn’t like my mom would stop him if I told her. She loved the drugs more than she loved me, Chris, and Chels. I didn’t blame my dad for leaving when he did, addiction was always a serious thing.
“Chey that wasn’t nothing.” He snuck up behind me and sat on the closed lid of the toilet seat. “I know we’re going through shit, but I’m here to talk. I’m not a complete jack ass.” His voice wasn’t something I wanted to hear. I was still pissed at him. Chanee was still in the picture and as much as I knew I had no right to go and tell him what to do, it still bothered me. “Talk to me, please?” I ignored him and walked out of the room. “What the hell man?” He followed behind me, mumbling under his breath.
“I had a bad dream okay? You can leave me alone now. You weren’t even supposed to be in the bed with me.” I turned and glared at him, Laurent was sitting on the couch sleeping but then he moved a little and I knew I’d woken him up.
“You can talk to me about it. Was it about that guy?” Larry stepped up to me causing my chin to hit his chest when I looked up.
“No, it wasn’t. If I talk you about it will you just leave me alone and let me go back to sleep?” He nodded. I rolled my eyes; I didn’t want to say anything but I guess he was trying so I went against my gut and did what my brain said. “It was about my mom’s ex. My mom never knew but he molested me when I was younger. That’s why she her drugs were always free.” I stopped and thought for a minute. “I was pretty much the tradeoff she never knew about.” I rolled my eyes, I had suppressed that memory for so long, and to talk about it made me shudder. Larry stood there with his jaw dropped, “Stop looking at me like that okay?”
“What you want me to do? Clap and be happy, Chey why you never tell me this?”
“Because why did you need to know? My dad knew about it and that’s why the guy is in jail now. I don’t like thinking about it and this guy out on the streets now is only a reminder of it.” I sighed and dropped into a seat across from Laurent, he had fallen back to sleep but I noticed the blood seeping through the bandage on his chest. So, I stood up and rummaged through his overnight bag he’d brought over when he came to my house originally and found his clean gauze and dressing. Gently I tapped Laurent and woke him up so I could slip his tank top off. His eyes fluttered and he gave a dazed smile. “Hey, I just wanted to clean up the bandages, you’re bleeding.” I gave him a warm smile. Larry stood over me; I could feel his eyes burning behind me. I ripped open the alcohol swabs and brushed across the stitches, wiping away any sign of blood I saw, and then I took the gauze and patted it dry gently. Laurent just leaned on his elbow and drifted in and out of sleep for a minute. Once I’d finished, he laid back down completely and reached out for my hand. I took me place back in the seat across from him, curling up in ball and laying my head on the arm of the chair.
“Chey, come back to bed.” Larry motioned for me to follow after him.
“Nah, I think I’m good here.” I flipped my hair out of my face and closed my eyes.
“So what did happen with you guys?” Dina and I were on the phone. I hadn’t been into work in a while. After Dina explained to Margie what had happened she told me take all the time I needed away, I’d still have my position.
“I’m not the one to ask. He told me to tell him I liked him and I did, but are we together? Nope.” I scoffed and rolled over in my bed. It had now been a month, Chanee was still in the picture and they were even closer so I was alone. Laurent finally cuffed Dina up so I, quite naturally, was the oddball out. To be honest I was starting to miss home but I knew that I wouldn’t be going back anytime soon. My birthday was coming up and I realized all my friends back home would have loved to spend it with me. To be honest I didn’t care if they did or not. I just wanted to be with them. “Me and Larry don’t even talk like that anymore. All I have is Diablo and Laurent.” I heard a soft knock on my door. I looked up and say a healthy Laurent standing there smiling at me. “Let me call you back, it’s my dad.” I lied knowing I didn’t feel like explaining anything to Dina.
“Hey beautiful.” Laurent swept me off my feet into the air, pulling me close to his body.
“Hi,” I gave him a cheesy smile and held him tight, “I haven’t seen you in a good week or two.” I gave him a playful sniffle and let go of his waist.
“I know, me and Larry been handling business,” he got serious in a matter of seconds so I got worried, “that is why I am here.”
“Oh God, what’s wrong?” I began to think the worst.
“I wanted you to be the first to hear this, well other than my mother,” he took a dramatic pause and looked at me, “Me and Larry go on tour with Chris Brown. We have to leave in two weeks for LA.” He looked on trying to read my emotions.
“OH MY GOD REALLY?!” I jumped up and down, excited for him. “I’m so happy for you!” I attacked him with a hug and we fell to my floor in laughter. Suddenly I thought about the consequences of them leaving, well him, the friend I did make that I really wanted to spend time with on my birthday would be gone.
“What’s wrong?” He frowned realizing I’d lost the happiness I had for him.
“Nothing, I’m happy for you! You can hook me up with Chris now. You know, put me in and get me the hook up.” I laughed and sat down on the bed.
“What you sit down for? We going out, get up.” He pulled me to my feet and directed me to my closet. “We hang out like when you first get here. Just me, you, and Larry.”
I scoffed, “Does Larry have to come?”
“Yes, he is my brother and we were the three musketeers before the drama. I want to spend the last two weeks with you before we leave. I will miss you.”
“And Dina?” I asked surprised she wasn’t the first person he mentioned.
“Oh yes, her too.”
“Well I’m just gonna throw something on then.” I pulled out a black tee, and dark wash blue jeans, with a pair of navy blue Chucks. Laurent didn’t leave the room; he just turned around and covered his eyes, a regular act for the last couple weeks since we’d gotten closer. “Done.” I chimed, he spun around wearing a goofy grin and snatched me up and ran to the main floor of the house.
Larry was standing there talking to Diablo and my brother. The smile he wore faded and I felt the tension build up. We all were drowning in it, as if there was a sudden rainfall and the room was flooded to the ceiling. There wasn’t going to be any escaping it.
***All “Deception” stories are written by Les Twins fan, Alexis Daniels.